The French are known for their more relaxed and liberal attitudes toward nudity compared to Americans. So it should come as no surprise, given their nonchalance towards wearing your birthday suit in public, that the first nude restaurant opened in Paris.
Called O’Naturel, it is located in the city’s 12th arrondissement, a largely residential area. Before entering the main dining room, diners are asked to remove their clothing and leave it in the restaurant’s wardrobes, according to Conde Nast Traveler. The view inside is blocked from the street so that passersby can’t see into the restaurant.
In typical French fashion, neighbors don’t seem phased by the unique restaurant. “It doesn’t bother me at all, or my neighbors,” one local man told The Local. “We don’t see anything from the street. We know what’s happening. It’s not a massage parlor.”
In addition to the nudity, it’s a fine dining experience. O’Naturel’s menu is posted online in English (and other languages) and dishes include lobster salad, duck foie gras, rack of lamb, risotto, and an extensive wine menu.
Nudity, or naturism, seem to have a foothold in Paris. The restaurant’s managers, Mike and Stephane Saada, told Le Parisien that they held an exclusive dinner for the Paris Naturist Association during the restaurant’s opening weekend. The association is a sports club in which all activities are practiced in total nudity, including swimming, water aerobics, yoga and massage. “They’ve supported us from the beginning, and we reserved our first soiree for them,” the Saadas told the publication.
Although this is the first nude restaurant, France abounds with plenty of other places where clothing is optional, including nude beaches and nude camping sites. And in August of this year, Paris approved the first nudist area of a public park.
“The creation of an area in the Bois de Vincennes where naturism will be authorized is part of our open-minded vision for the use of Parisian public spaces,” Penelope Komites, a deputy mayor in charge of the city’s parks, told The Local.
So if you’re interested in nudity and world-class food and culture, it certainly sounds like the City of Lights is the place to be!